|Photo courtesy of Kate Dougherty Designs|
The clean appearance of simple white painted boards has long been a go-to look which works well with many different styles, but particularly with Coastal or Traditional Swedish. Swap Old White for Florence and you have instant Bohemian vibrancy; on old concrete floors try Graphite or Burgundy for that rougher Warehouse look, or contrast Provence with English Yellow for a graphic Modern Retro pattern (see my book Room Recipes for more explanation of these different themes).
When I know what look I want to achieve, I start by painting and lacquering a small test area, mainly because whilst you can use Chalk Paint® on any surface, I am always mindful that certain types of varnishes commonly used on flooring can sometimes be drawn through, and this can affect the finished colour (particularly with the lighter colours in the range). If a stain does come through on the area that I have tested I use my Lacquer to seal the whole floor. This will usually stop any bleed-through, and then I paint on top. If all I’m after is a single colour, I usually do two or three coats in Chalk Paint®, before doing a single coat with my Lacquer last. A little of this can go a long way and it dries with just a hint of sheen. I really recommend you use it, especially for areas which will be walked over again and again. I like to apply the paint with the larger of my brushes, but tend to use one of the rollers for the lacquer – this way it covers quickly and dries evenly.
A single colour is simple but effective. I have also experimented with a checkerboard design on my kitchen floor in the past. Here, I used a square sponge as a stencil, with Cream, Paris Grey and Old White. You can also be a little clever by creating a trompe l’ceil to mimic a different effect altogether. My very clever stockists, La Restauroteca created the most wonderful illusion of a rug on the floor of their shop in Valencia. This was actually painted directly onto a laminate floor, and then sealed with Lacquer. They’ve used my Talullah stencil (a fabulous encaustic or even Moroccan tile effect) to make the pattern at the ‘centre’ of the rug and Valeska (a wonderfully versatile repeating pattern) to create a border. Doesn’t it look great? I particularly like their choice of colours, Old White and Burgundy lifted by Provence.
And take a lot at how Janice Issitt, one of my Painters in Residence, used Chalk Paint in Provence, Napoleonic Blue, Old White and Arles on the tiled floor of a bedroom to create a beautiful bright and bold, mediterranean look.